Toronto police bust wild scam where moving companies held people's belongings for ransom
If you're moving in and around Toronto anytime soon, you'll want to be extra careful about who you select to help you out given a new moving scam that's come to light.
As if the process of getting out of an old home and into a new one isn't stressful enough, a group of fraudsters operating under a number of different company names have been exploiting people in the city by taking their cash for moving services, loading up all of their stuff and then holding it hostage until more money is paid out.
Toronto police say that two men and a woman advertising moving help under a whopping nine different seemingly legitimate business names were hooking customers by offering budget prices.
After contracts were signed, they would show up with a moving truck, load up residents' items and then leave — only to later call up the victims to demand more money before they returned all their worldly possessions.
Those that weren't able to pay the thousands extra were faced with additional fees for storage, along with potentially never seeing their belongings again — but luckily, after busting two of the perpetrators, authorities are now sorting through tons of stolen goods that were being kept in a Scarborough warehouse.
They are hoping to be able to return the "substantial amount" of furniture, clothing and other personal effects ASAP, though they say in a press release that this could take "some time" due to the sheer amount of how much was taken.
The moving companies involved in the crime were:
Two 30-year-old men, Cemal Ozturk and Dogan Celik, were apprehended on Friday and are now facing multiple charges of fraud and mischief over $5,000, false pretense, possession of property obtained by crime, and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
A third offender, a 27-year-old woman named Amethyst Jones, is now also wanted in connection to the crimes and is still at large.
Anyone who fell victim to this scam can contact the cops at 416-808-4100 to claim their items.
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